ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The No. 1-ranked Western Washington University women’s soccer team remained undefeated on the season and extended its winning streak to 32 consecutive games with a 2-0 victory over in-state rival Central Washington on Thursday afternoon in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at the CWU Soccer Complex.
With their sixth road victory of the season, the Vikings improved to 8-0-0 and 4-0-0 in GNAC play. The 32-game winning streak remains the 4th-longest in NCAA Division II history and the 33-game unbeaten streak (32-0-1) gains sole possession of 7th-best in the NCAA II record books. WWU is also undefeated in its last 57 games vs. GNAC opponents (51-0-6) and has a 43-game unbeaten streak (41-0-2) vs. West Region opponents.
“This was a really good, comprehensive performance today by the team,” said head coach Travis Connell. “Every game unfolds a little different, and today we had to counter a lot and we adjusted very well and won in a little different way, which is a great step forward for this team.”
Freshman forward Sophie Butterfield (Bellevue, WA) scored in the 28th minute for the eventual game-winner, and junior forward Gabriela Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) scored her league-leading 9th goal of the season and 30th of her career (84’).
Sophomore forward Liv Larson (Arlington, WA) added her 5th assist of the season, setting up Butterfield’s go-ahead goal, and senior defender Malia Maack (Spokane, WA/Mead) recorded her 3rd assist over the last two games on Pelogi’s goal.
After several early chances, the Vikings broke through in the 28th minute (27:05) when Butterfield connected on a left-footed strike off a corner from Larson. After the corner, the ball was loose in the box when Butterfield fired a shot through three CWU defenders to find the back of the net from 5 yards out for her second career goal (both game winners).
Pelogi added an insurance goal in the 84th minute to put the game out of reach, volleying a header off a long cross from the left side of the field from Maack.
WWU dominated the flow of the game, out-shooting the Wildcats 29-4, including a 15-4 edge in shots on goal.
WWU senior goalkeeper Ashley Homer (Puyallup, WA) had a pair of saves, extending her personal scoreless streak to 499:27. The shutout was WWU’s fifth of the season, and fifth in the last six games.
“We got some really good contributions from non-starters in this game, with Darby Doyle playing fantastic off the bench, and Sophie Butterfield stepping up in a starting role,” added Connell. “Efforts and performances like that make our team better and push everyone to another level.”
Central Washington drops to 1-5-2 overall and 0-2-1 in GNAC play. Goalkeeper Emily Holt made 13 saves for the Wildcats.
“This was a good win against a quality opponent,” said Connell. “A lot of the players grew up competing against each other and have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. This is a healthy rivalry and we are feeling good about our performance today.”
WWU continues its road trip traveling to play Montana State Billings on Saturday at 12 pm MT/11 am PT. The game will be streamed live and feature live stats coverage on WWUVikings.com/Live. The WWU-MSUB match will also be available via the GNAC channel on several streaming devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, AndroidTV).
Game Notes: WWU extended its winning streak against CWU to 6 straight and is undefeated in last 12 matches vs. the Wildcats (11-0-1)…Vikings lead the all-time series over the CWU 39-11-7…Gabriela Pelogi scored her 30th career goal, remaining 9th in the WWU record books…Pelogi has scored at least one goal in 6 of WWU’s 8 games, and has a point in 7 of 8 games…WWU has scored at least one goal in its last 38 games vs. GNAC opponents, extending the conference record…WWU is 89-5-7 since the start of the 2013 season, the best record amongst all Division II programs.
⚽ Butterfield (28’) – Larson assist
⚽ Pelogi (84’) – Maack assist
Webster and Shugarts Named Scholar All-Americans
WWU seniors Emily Webster and Sierra Shugarts add Scholar All-America awards to impressive career resumes
Trio of Vikings Named D2CCA All-Americans
Emily Webster, Sierra Shugarts and Gabriela Pelogi each honored by D2CCA
Gabriela Pelogi Named Third Team All-American
Pelogi becomes the 10th player in WWU history to earn All-America honors from the national soccer coaches association
Four Vikings Named United Soccer Coaches All-West Region
Emily Webster, Karli White and Gabriela Pelogi earn first-team honors, Sierra Shugarts a second-team selection
WWU Women's Soccer Named United Soccer Coaches Regional Staff of the Year
WWU coaching staff recognized by United Soccer Coaches as West Region Staff of the Year
Five Vikings Earn D2CCA All-West Region Honors
Vikings place four players on First Team, one player on Second Team
Vikings Edged 2-0 by UCSD in West Regional Final
WWU finishes season 18-2-0 while making sixth consecutive NCAA Championships appearance
Vikings Ready to Defend West Regional Title
WWU women's soccer takes on UC San Diego Friday night in La Jolla, Calif.
Women's Soccer Heads to San Diego for West Regional Championship
Vikings will travel to La Jolla, Calif., for Friday night showdown (7 pm) with regional rival UCSD
Defending National Champions Advance to NCAA West Regional Final
Defending national champion Vikings beat Sonoma State 2-0 in second round of NCAA II Championships
No. 2-Seed Vikings Open West Regional Play Saturday vs. Sonoma State
The Vikings open NCAA II Championships play facing No. 3-seed Sonoma State at 1 pm at Harrington Field
Defending National Champions Set for NCAA Championships
WWU women's soccer heads into postseason play with 17-1-0 record
Vikings Announced as No. 2 Seed in West Region
WWU will host the first and second rounds, facing Cal Baptist or Sonoma State on Saturday at 1 pm in Bellingham
It's Selection Show Monday for WWU Soccer
The women's soccer program will find out who it plays in the NCAA championships at 3 pm
Women's Soccer Named GNAC Team of the Week
The Vikings won their third consecutive GNAC Championships tournament title last Saturday